March 8, 2023
USDA proposes amendment to close Made in USA loophole for meat, poultry, and eggs
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed an amendment that will close a regulatory loophole allowing meat and poultry producers to label their products as "Made in the USA" even though the livestock was born and raised overseas, and when processing happens in a different country, Winsight Grocery Business reported.
The United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA), a trade group that has pushed for tightening the regulation, applauded the USDA's announcement.
The group pointed out that current laws permit beef imports to go through as little a change as trimming or rewrapping and then bear the "Product of the USA" or "Made in the USA" label.
Under the proposed change, any meat, poultry, or egg product would need to be "derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States" in order to be labelled as a US product. The amendment is part of US President Joe Biden's executive order, "Promoting Competition in the American Economy".
Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary said the goal of these suggested changes is to give customers accurate information so they can choose their products wisely.
According to a survey conducted in the summer of 2022, almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) mistakenly believe that manufacturers must complete all production steps in the US before applying the label.
- Winsight Grocery Business